No need to be an expert to install a modern car stereo. You just have to know the basics, which we will briefly examine below.
So, you can install a car stereo by two different methods:
- using the ISO stereo connector without CANbus;
- with CANbus.
What is the ISO format and how to connect it
Usually, all modern cars have an ISO connector for a car stereo. All you need to do for the installation is:
- connect the ISO connector with the ISO port of the vehicle;
- connect the ISO connector to the car stereo;
- install the car stereo into the dashboard, then fix it with the mounting brackets.
If there is no ISO connector, you can connect it with the following wires:
- Battery powered wire – usually yellow, sometimes red.
- ACC wire tells the car stereo that the system is powered. This is necessary for the activation of the car stereo. Typically, the ACC wire is red and a little smaller than the main power. If there is no ACC wire, you can wire it to the cigarette lighter or the ignition.
- Ground wire, usually black.
- The ILL (illuminations) wire is used to activate the car stereo lighting simultaneously with the headlights or fender lamps of the car.
- Power antenna wire (ANT). If there is an antenna amplifier, the wire can be used to power up the car stereo, and then this amplifier. It can also be used as a signal for a retractable antenna, but not all car stereos are equipped with it.
- The reverse wire allows to activate the reversing camera. You can attach this cable to the reversing light.
- Speaker wires are usually connected to a composite output.
Generally, there is a wiring diagram printed on the car stereo. Accordingly, you must carefully study this diagram before make any connection, as well as the wiring diagram of your car, so that you don’t confuse the cables, because their color may vary on different models.
What is the CANbus and how to connect it
The CANbus is a special bus, developed by Robert Bosch. It is used to connect microcontrollers and devices to the electronic control units (ECU). It’s therefore becoming much more common in today’s vehicles than previous “wiring looms”.
When using the CANbus, the following wires must be connected:
- Main power;
- CANbus wires, usually with an adapter for connection;
- Speaker wires.
All other elements, such as lighting, reversing camera and others use the CANbus, which makes the car stereo much easier and faster to connect.
New generation of Android car stereos
Google’s Android has become the world’s most popular operating system, which controls not only smartphones, but also laptops, tablets, TVs, smartwatches and even refrigerators. It’s no wonder that Android is used even in car stereos.
What is Android for a car stereo? First of all, if you have Android as an operating system, it means that your device is powerful enough. In addition, this operating system has the following advantages:
- provides easy access to all functions of the device;
- ensures fast and correct operation of the car stereo;
- allows you to download additional apps from the Google Play Store;
- Google sync between all your Android devices.
In other words, Android devices are distinguished by their good capabilities.
Keep in mind that different modern devices may run different versions of the Android platform. The most common versions are:
- Android 5 – Today, this operating system becomes out of date and may disappear soon;
- Android 6 – this operating system is not recent either, but still, it can be found in many devices, because it doesn’t require a very powerful hardware and is fast enough and supported by all modern applications for Android;
- Android 7 – until recently it was the latest version of Google’s operating system. One of the most striking new features brought by Android 7 is the top-notch multitasking, as well as other features, especially for app developers.
Google has recently unveiled a new version of its operating system – Android 8, and, therefore, there will soon be car stereos equipped with this system. But it must be said that for motorists there are no big differences between the versions of Android, because a car stereo is not a smartphone, after all.
Top 3 car stereos
Finally, we want to show you the most interesting car stereo models with the best quality/price ratio. So, the first model is XOMAX XM-2VDA715. We’ve covered it in detail in the section “2-DIN car stereos”. It is a powerful and high quality device, which is able to meet the needs of the most demanding motorists in terms of sound and functionality.
The XOMAX XM-2DDA6902 model, which deserves special attention, has the following functions:
- 7 ‘touch screen with a resolution of 800 x 480 pixels (16: 9 format);
- The car stereo is with Android 6.0;
- The 1.2 GHz Cortex A7 quad-core processor and the Mali-400 M graphics card allow you to play almost all modern video games;
- 2 GB of RAM and 32 GB of internal memory. The size of the internal memory can be extended with microSD memory cards, each up to 128 GB;
- Two USB ports;
- Integrated GPS navigation with Google Maps;
- DVD / CD player;
- RDS and AM / FM radio with 18 pre-programmed stations;
- Playback of all current multimedia file formats – MPEG4, MP3, WMA, AVI;
- Bluetooth support for listening to music from your smartphone, using speakers and other functions;
- Wallpaper support;
- Remote control;
- Video games, compass, calendar, and other useful applications;
- Power – 4 x 60 W.
What makes XOMAX XM-2DDA6902 different from the devices described above is a DVD / CD player. The ability to use 2 memory cards at the same time will be very useful to those motorists who like to keep a media library in the car.
For those who want the most advanced and functional car stereo, we can recommend the XOMAX XM-2VA701 model. The advantages of this model are:
- 7 ‘touch screen with a resolution of 1024 x 600 pixels (16: 9 format);
- The car stereo is with Android 7.1;
- 16GB eMMC Flash high speed non-volatile memory;
- 3G and 4G support.
The other functions are the same as those of the XM-2DDA6902 model.
Now you know the features and the types of modern car radios, which will help you make the right decision. And if you still have any questions, please contact our online store, where our experts will help you to choose the best device that suits your needs and the financial capacity.